What documentation must a creditor present in court to prove that a debt is valid?

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What documentation must a creditor present in court to prove that a debt is valid?

I have an upcoming trial date in 3 weeks. My original Answer to the claim was that I could neither confirm nor deny the claim until original documentation was provided by the creditor. Received a short computer print-out (not even on letterhead) with nothing but the total due, dates (ppen, interest, charge off), and an unrecognized account number. Nothing original, no signatures, just my name and address. I still don’t know if it’s even mine. Side note, I also received a notice of Class Action Settlement against the creditor. What can I state in court to have this dismissed?

Asked on May 26, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) You should state that--assuming the following is true--that you do not recognize this debt and it is not your debt. The other side will then be able to provide any better evidence which they may have--e.g any promissory notes, credit agreements, etc. If they have evidence proving that you did incur this debt--and remember: the burden of proof is on them; they have to establish or prove their case.

Note that it may *not* be enough to just say that you can't confirm that it's your debt; if you do that, then, since there is no evidence or testimony to the contrary, it will effectively be easier for them to make their case than if you are directly contradicting their claim.

2) If the settlement you refer to settles your specific claim, you can bring that up at court. Bring the documentation with you, and good luck.


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